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Forage soybean performance in mediterranean environments

Forage soybean performance in mediterranean environments

Field Crops Research 103(3): 239-247

Livestock producers are interested in growing forage soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] in summer and ensiling alone or in mixtures with corn or sorghum. Four row spacings (20, 40, 60, and 80 cm), four seeding rates (50, 100, 150, and 200 kg seeds per hectare) and four harvesting stages for forage production V-5, R-2, R-4, and R-6 were evaluated under irrigated conditions in a randomized split-split plot design with three replications in three different locations in Turkey with Mediterranean-type climate in 2004 and 2005. Dry matter (DM) yield was significantly reduced with increased row spacings in all locations. There was no significant difference between 20, 40, or 60 cm row spacings while 80 cm provided the lowest yield. Increased seeding rates (50, 100, 150, and 200 kg seeds per hectare) generally increased DM yield, although the most suitable row spacing varied by location. DM yield was significantly affected by harvest maturity increasing with advancing maturity in all locations. DM constituent plant components were generally unaffected by row spacing and seeding rate but harvest maturity did significantly affect DM partitioning. As expected, leaf blade fractions decreased continually as plant maturity increased, while stem and flower plus pod fraction increased from V-5 to R-6. In general, row spacing and seeding rate did not significantly affect crude protein, degradable protein, and in vitro dry matter digestibility of soybean forage, but all decreased significantly with advancing maturity. These studies demonstrated soybeans managed for forage in a Mediterranean-type environment can average of 9.3 and 11.3 t ha(-1) dry matter yield at R4 and R6 stages, respectively, while averaging 13.3 % crude protein, 8.2% degradable protein, and 60.6% in vitro dry matter digestibility.

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Accession: 015868978

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DOI: 10.1016/j.fcr.2007.06.006

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